Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Bee's Life: Miss Cowboy Boot's Turn

Thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and join in on this series. Here's my story.

How I Found Blogs
My days in the blogosphere started about three years ago, the summer after college. Blogs became a presence in my life during my first internship that summer at Food & Wine. I worked in online for the magazine and one of my tasks involved sifting through the vast 'sphere of food blogs that were out there (it was actually vast for the pre-historic days of blogs) and picking the top ten posts of the week. This was probably my favorite thing to do at work because it involved reading blogs. All. Day. Long. Which were my faves? Chocolate & Zucchini, Becks & Posh, Le Tartine Gourmande, Movable Feast, My Marrakesh, and The Amateur Gourmet. "Blogging" was just becoming a vital addition to magazine websites and Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure (both owned by Amex Publishing) were kicking off their own editor blogs. And with much trepidation to begin with. Nobody quite knew what the voice should sound like, who should blog, how to identify the editor blogging, and if each editor should have their own beat (wine, dessert, cooking, recipes, etc). Blogs were still fuzzy when it came to talking to an audience. At least an audience as big as a magazine's readership which can reach into the millions.

And Then The Blogging Began
At first, I wasn't quite sure what to write about. I'd created an account on Blogger and wanted to write service-oriented content with an anecdotal side, much like magazine articles do very well. I'd majored in personal essay in college and wanted to inflect that in my blog. It was a way to get me writing again. I was very interested in writing about things that were almost hippie-ish (hiking, yoga, all-natural and organic food) but were also quite preppy and popular at the time (they still are), thus the name of my blog: Almost Crunchy. I wrote about New York City and ways to escape it's hustle and bustle. I wrote about Hawaii, where I lived, global warming, Earth Day, and finally, our foodie-based road trip through the South when we moved from New York City to Santa Fe. And that's where it ended. When I lived in New York City, I didn't have a release like hiking and paddling. I had a lot of pent up energy that siphoned its way out of my body through my fingertips onto the keyboard. But when I got to Santa Fe, any extra time and energy was devoted to the forest, the lakes, the trails and my dogs. Until...Weddingbee came along.

Becoming a Bee
I never read wedding blogs or magazines or anything wedding-related before getting engaged. None of my friends are married or even close to it and I'd only been to two weddings since I was old enough to care about them even a smidgen so my knowledge of weddings, the traditions, and all-of-the-above, was minimal (to say the least). I believe the term was "wedding blog." Yep, that's what I typed into Google and Weddingbee was the first to pop up. I loved it, checked back often, never followed any one Bee in particular but was thoroughly impressed by the DIY projects that the Bees blogged about. I was caught off guard by people having stashes of crafting tools in their homes from previous projects. I guess the craftiest I've ever been was putting together a scrap book (no, wait, make that three) of pictures, bus tickets, train receipts, and museum pamphlets from my semester abroad in Italy. Either way, I applied. I saw blogging on Weddingbee as a way to start writing again--these Bees sure are eloquent and I liked the challenge of trying to be as writerly. I started my application on Almost Crunchy. I wrote for two weeks on all-things-weddings and e-mailed the requirements in. The acceptance e-mail was in my inbox within two days! Yiippppeeeeee!!!! I came home and told Mr. CB (who was not Mr. CB just yet) that I was a Bee!!!

The Roadblock
At this point, Mr. CB and I were deep in the application process of becoming a feature in Martha Stewart Weddings. I've already blogged about this and, to not bore you with the details, you can read about it here. In short, the magazine wouldn't let me post my details across the blogosphere (which had grown to a quite powerful, widely read thing that this point, obviously) if they wanted to feature us. The opportive word here is if. They were far from giving us an answer and I was ready to share, share, share. In a way that would be meaningful to me. So, Weddingbee it was.

A Day In The Life
I wish I could say that blogging for Weddingbee has been as rewarding as writing for my personal blog. But, as the famous saying goes, "It's not you, it's me." I love getting comments from readers, sharing my details, and being an active member of this awesome community. But I never get to spend as much time and brain power on these posts as I used to when I wrote for Almost Crunchy. My job, now, is much more demanding. I work on the editorial side of a national men's glossy magazine and, so, my entire day is spent crafting words, paring them down, staring at a computer screen, blogging for work and talking, talking, talking about content. At the end of the day, I'm tired, and very rarely find that creative spark that gets imparted on some of my better posts. And, unlike Ms. Mary Jane, I write all of my posts in one sitting. The ideas I get excited about and want to devote hours to get held until the weekend, when I can spend two hours or more writing them (like this one). The less-impressive posts happen during the week, within about half an hour. And, I feel like my best ideas come in a flash and end up on screen within an hour (even if I'm at my desk at work, shhhh). I just get SO excited to share them with you.

Overall, Weddingbee has been worth every word, thought, and ounce of energy I've put into it. Everyone here is generous with their thoughts, words of advice, virtual hugs of support, and got-your-back attitude. It's touching how, when a negative comment shows up (and they rarely do), a reader or Bee will step in and stand up for you in a heartbeat. Heck, it's hard to find real friends who are so committed. It will be a blessing--and worth more than being in Martha Stewart Weddings--to have all of you "there" with me as I walk up to the aisle. What a way to document this experience--it's been worth more-than-words.

Now that this post is novel-length, I'll let you stop reading.

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